reservation

Never mind, American Airlines — just send me a refund!

Howard Madnick calls it the “disappearing reservation” trick. And it happened to him several times.

In just a moment, I’ll let him describe a bizarre series of circumstances that led to several reservations being made for his 12-year-old son, Harrison, and then lost. American has offered a resolution, but he wants to know: Is it enough?

I’ll let you decide.
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Hotels.com left me in Paris sans hotel

Iohan/Shutterstock
Iohan/Shutterstock
When Judi McManigal arrives at her hotel in Paris, she discovers she doesn’t have a reservation. Her online travel agency won’t help her. Is she stuck with the bill?

Question: We made a reservation recently on Hotels.com for a hotel in Paris. When we arrived, the hotel informed us that they had canceled the reservation due to an issue with the credit card transaction. Apparently, not all U.S. credit cards are accepted in Europe, which we also learned when we tried to buy train tickets from a machine with the same credit card.

Our hotel told us that they had notified Hotels.com of the credit card issue and cancellation before our arrival. They even showed me a printout of the email. However, Hotels.com never notified us of the credit card problem, nor the cancellation. The hotel had only one night available, so we had to find another hotel at the last minute for the three remaining nights.

We called the Hotels.com number in France, and the agent stated that they had the cancellation in their system. But after speaking with several representatives, Hotels.com refused to put us in another hotel at the same rate.
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Why won’t Starwood let me change my reservation ?

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
Carol Pratt is stuck with three pre-paid nights at a Starwood Hotel. Even though she wants to move the reservation by a few days, the hotel won’t let her without losing all of her money. What’s going on?

Question: I made a pre-paid reservation at the W New York – Downtown. The rate description said it was non-refundable and a penalty would apply for changes. When I tried to change it to a few days later, I was told that the reservation was actually non-changeable, and that should I cancel it, I would lose the money and need to book three new nights.

I contacted the W hotel’s central line and pointed out that the rate description for non-refundable rates stated they were non-refundable and non-changeable. That’s not the same thing as “a penalty for changes,” which is the language in the terms for the rate I had booked.
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